This book is concerned with the remarkable changes made to the built environment in Lancashire’s main textile district – essentially the eastern and central parts of the county – during the Industrial Revolution (c1780-c1850). A case-study approach is taken, with findings from investigations at six different types of site being presented. The sites included are water-powered mill remains in the Cheesden Valley, near Rochdale; Barrow Bridge factory village, near Bolton; the former handloom weavers’ colony at Club Houses, Horwich; Preston’s Winckley Square; Eanam Wharf at Blackburn; and, to the north of Bolton, the road between Bromley Cross and Edgworth. The case studies show how, in rural and urban areas alike, developments in industry, housing and transport greatly extended the built environment and brought striking new features to it. Emphasis is placed on interpreting the physical evidence the sites provide, linking it with that taken from various types of documentary source, especially historical maps. By making comparisons with developments occurring at similar types of site elsewhere in Britain, as well as in Europe and North America, the forms the changes took are explained and their significance assessed. Additionally, insights are provided into the economic and social impact the changes brought, especially on the everyday lives that people led.
‘Winner of the Association for Industrial Archaeology's Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship’